Talk

Advanced search

Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Asperger and choosing a nursery

(9 Posts)
TallPenguin Fri 18-Sep-09 12:16:12

Can anyone give me some tips on choosing and dealing with schools/nurseries for my son (age 4) who has just been diagnosed with Aspergers and hyperactivity?

He’s been at his current nursery for 3 months, and my gut instinct is telling me that it’s not the right environment for him. It’s a small quiet privately-owned nursery and I sense that the teachers are exasperated by his behaviour. When we’ve discussed his behavioural issues with them in the past, we’ve been give lots of advice on our parenting approach (which really isn’t that bad, honest)! I plan to meet with them next week to talk about his diagnosis and the next steps.

I’m guessing that I’ll ‘know’ when I have a chat with them – if they are sympathetic, non-blaming and pro-active then I’ll feel more comfortable. To give a clearer picture, whilst we were waiting for a diagnosis (which they knew about) they were dismissive of my concerns when I mentioned someone had left the gate open behind them at pickup time (my son ran out into the busy carpark), and last week told me that he’d sucked “all of the ink out of a marker pen” – when I asked them why he wasn’t being watched the teacher was really snappy and told me they haven’t got the time to watch all the kids all at once. I would have expected that if they had a child in their care with possible ASD that they would at least be prepared to watch him more closely in the future, or is that an unrealistic expectation?

What do you expect from an Asperger child in early education? Should they sit still during mat time like other kids, or is it to be accepted that they might get bored after 5 minutes and wander off?

I’m not the most assertive person, but from what I’ve read on here today, an Aspergers diagnosis is a fast track to becoming assertive? I think the fact that I’m almost scared of discussing it with them speaks volumes. His previous nursery was bigger, full of young energetic teachers and much noisier, but was further away. We could move him back there and I know he’d be happy, but I’m not sure what environment is best for him – one that fits his lively nature, or one where he is required to be calmer and quieter.

Marne Fri 18-Sep-09 13:16:33

Hi, my dd1 went to nursery when she was 3 and didn't settle (small village nursery), we took her out and put her in a larger nursery when she was 4, she took a while to settle (4 months) but once she had settled in she loved it.

I think you can tell a good nursery by the interest they show when you tell them your child has AS, the first nursery dd went too didn't really want to know about her needs but the second was really understanding and were very helpful when dd was upset or anxious.

Is your son getting help from Portage? they have been great helping me get dd2 (ASD) into nursery and have helped get funding for a 1:1.

Dd1's nursery had a very good daily routine which dd loved, she knew what she was doing each day when she went in so she didn't get as anxious.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 18-Sep-09 13:16:46

TallPenguin

I would be taking heed of your gut instinct here. Some nurseries just "don't get" some children with such special needs at all.
How do you think they'll react to his Aspergers and Hypermobility diagnoses?. The fact that you're almost scared of discussing it with them is telling (is this because you fear the staffs attitude?).

Does this nursery he attends has a SENCO on site, you will need to speak to both his keyworker and the SENCO. Both should be present at any meeting.

You will need to be both assertive and matter of fact with them - you as his Mum are his best - AND ONLY - advocate. No-one is better placed than you to fight his corner for him. If you don't fight for him, no-one else will.

If your DS too has been diagnosed with Aspergers and hyperactivity then there should be some educational plan in place to help him cope further with nursery - and in the longer term school.

I would seriously be looking at applying for a Statement of special needs asap which is legally binding and would give extra support. It is going to get harder for him the further he progresses through the educational system and you are seeing problems now. You do not want to wait for them to say something along the lines of, "your DS is badly struggling in both class and with relation to his peers" before doing anything. Get something concrete like a Statement in place asap.

A legally binding document like a Statement will help him in school as well as this will claerly set out his difficulties and strategies to help with these. He will also receive a set number of additional hours of support per week.

IPSEA are very good at the minefield that is the statementing process and there are model letters you can use:-

www.ipsea.org.uk

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 18-Sep-09 13:16:46

TallPenguin

I would be taking heed of your gut instinct here. Some nurseries just "don't get" some children with such special needs at all.
How do you think they'll react to his Aspergers and Hypermobility diagnoses?. The fact that you're almost scared of discussing it with them is telling (is this because you fear the staffs attitude?).

Does this nursery he attends has a SENCO on site, you will need to speak to both his keyworker and the SENCO. Both should be present at any meeting.

You will need to be both assertive and matter of fact with them - you as his Mum are his best - AND ONLY - advocate. No-one is better placed than you to fight his corner for him. If you don't fight for him, no-one else will.

If your DS too has been diagnosed with Aspergers and hyperactivity then there should be some educational plan in place to help him cope further with nursery - and in the longer term school.

I would seriously be looking at applying for a Statement of special needs asap which is legally binding and would give extra support. It is going to get harder for him the further he progresses through the educational system and you are seeing problems now. You do not want to wait for them to say something along the lines of, "your DS is badly struggling in both class and with relation to his peers" before doing anything. Get something concrete like a Statement in place asap.

A legally binding document like a Statement will help him in school as well as this will claerly set out his difficulties and strategies to help with these. He will also receive a set number of additional hours of support per week.

IPSEA are very good at the minefield that is the statementing process and there are model letters you can use:-

www.ipsea.org.uk

TallPenguin Fri 18-Sep-09 23:41:19

Thanks for your responses. I'm English and living in New Zealand, so I'm not sure how much the system differs to the UK (but am sure I'm about to find out). We've got a referral for some kind of educational assessment, but to be honest it was all a bit of a blur yesterday.

I think the thing about them just not getting it rings true - the response I'd like to hear is an "OK, so this is what we're dealing with, this is what we're going to do, extra funding etc etc".

I'll post more when I've had a chat with them on Monday.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Sat 19-Sep-09 00:47:58

I have two children with sd and I found different settings suited each

DS3, the ore severe thrived with a wonderful CM who had a child with asd herself

DS1 though didnt quite settle at playschool and I wasnt sending him to the nursery sis runs as I know her opinons on SN too well, he thrived at a montessori though and I only wish I had found it earlier as he only had 2 terms there before school

Goblinchild Sat 19-Sep-09 07:22:05

'If you don't fight for him, no-one else will.'

Never a truer word spoken Attila! You will become very focused on what your child needs to thrive and the best way to obtain it. Doesn't mean you have to become bossy or hysterical.
You already know your child better than anyone on the planet, so you can tell the nursery what is a realistic expectation and any strategies you use that are effective.
Read up on the subject, find Tony Attwood's book on Asperger's so that you can tell them strategies and what might work and what won't.
know what he is entitled to and then make a plan or two.
If you're not comfortable with face-to-face, write or email.

And remember Attila's wise words when you are scared, overwhelmed or being sidelined and bamboozled. grin

TallPenguin Sat 19-Sep-09 11:44:18

I'm sat here with Tony Attwood's book right now - the story at the beginning about the little boy Jack made me cry, but it describes my little boy's behaviour and speech so aptly it's incredible.

I'm trying to cram as much of his book in as possible before I have to speak to the nursery.

jjones Sat 19-Sep-09 23:37:21

I would remove him straight away, just from the 2 thing that you mentioned. Get in touch with your local special needs section of lea and they should be able to point you in the right direction. My ds has asd and is 3.3 and is in a new nursery which I found though a support group, which has resourse experiance he is not expected to sit at story time in fact they have amember of staff ready to stay with him. I have also worked in a nursery and no child should be left long enough to suck the ink out of a marker.
I hope you get it sorted.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now